Just one month shy of her 12th birthday, my beautiful greyhound Chyna crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Friday, March 5th, 2010. Some of you know about the health challenges she's been having recently, and while this was sooner than I'd hoped, it wasn't unexpected. I'm grateful she was home with me and did not suffer very long.
Making a memory page for Chyna was very therapeutic, and it has been so heartening to read people's beautiful, loving messages (details and link are below). It has also been healing to compile my thoughts about some of the many things Chyna taught me in our 17 short months together.
5 things I learned from Chyna
- Don't forget to get outside for a walk once in awhile. As my VP of Joy, Chyna was great for reminding me to take a break and stretch my legs – something that's easy to forget when the creative juices are flowing, or when I'm under the thumb of some self-imposed "emergency" that feels like it has to be done immediately.
- A stranger is a friend you haven't met yet. While I'd heard this phrase before, Chyna epitomized it. She rarely met someone who didn't fall instantly under her spell, whether that was a neighbour, a cousin at a family gathering (even if she thought Chyna was a bit scary) or just someone on the street.
- This is the only moment that counts. Chyna was incapable of holding a grudge. If we had a little disagreement about which way to walk or when it was time to come home, she was always quick to be friends again (especially when it was time to eat ;) "Don't be silly," she seemed to say, "I may not like everything you do, but I never stop loving you!"
- Love is never an interruption. This ties back to #1. When I'd be in the middle of working on something and Chyna would come over to snuggle, the thought would flash through my mind that I didn't have time for that! Luckily, through her quiet wisdom, Chyna reminded me what's really important.
- Personal space is sacred and must be honoured. Chyna liked her own space, especially when other dogs were around (as her doggie cousin Tali will remember!), and she'd protect it – that was practically the only time she made a sound. But she was equally protective of the loving space we shared together, finding ways to be near me during the day while I worked.
In lieu of submitting comments below, please visit Chyna's memory page to see photos and sign the guest book: Remembering Chyna